Real Estate

FEMA resumes selling, renewing flood insurance policies amid shutdown

Agency rescinds previous decision to not sell or renew policies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced late Friday that it will resume selling and renewing flood insurance policies, rescinding its initial ruling that the National Flood Insurance Program cannot be renewed amid the ongoing government shutdown.

Congress passed a bill that sought to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through May 31, 2019 but FEMA ruled against it last week, getting an earful from the housing industry in response, which called it “short-sighted” and “ill-advised.”

The NFIP was among the things affected by the partial shutdown. The latest program extension was wrapped into the spending bill that funded the government until December 21, 2018, meaning it also expired Saturday, Dec. 22 when the shutdown occurred.

But FEMA has apparently changed its mind.

From FEMA’s announcement:

Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it will resume the sale of new insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies. This rescinds initial guidance issued on December 26, 2018, to industry partners to suspend sales operations as a result of the current lapse in annual appropriations.

As of this evening, all NFIP insurers have been directed to resume normal operations immediately and advised that the program will be considered operational since December 21, 2018 without interruption.

 On Friday, December 21, 2018, Congress reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until May 31, 2019.

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